Tired already at the age of 19 of her respectable married life, Mary Rogers, of Bennington, Vermont, set her sights on three objectives – murdering her husband Marcus, collecting the $600 life insurance payout, and marrying someone else.

“Someone else” was a respectable Bennington businessman whom Mary hoped to seduce and who, she also hoped, would consider her marriageable as a result of her $600 windfall.

She enlisted the aid of one of her many lovers, Leon Perham, 17, to despatch her husband. In a carefully rehearsed plot, all three went for a country walk together. When they sat down on a riverbank Mary and Perham played a game with Marcus by which his wrists were tied together in fun, and when he was unable to free himself they chloroformed him and rolled him into the river where he drowned.

The plot was uncovered when the insurance company grew suspicious of Mary’s aggressive pursuit of her claim. They began an investigation, and Perham took fright and confessed. Offered the chance of life imprisonment in exchange for testifying against his lover, Perham turned state’s evidence and Mary was sentenced to die.

On Friday, December 8th, 1905, she walked to the gallows with an air of complete indifference, having neither admitted nor denied her guilt. Worldwide Hangings from True Crime Library.

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